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Grandparents are legal custodians. Please help.

I am having trouble understanding why the payments to my daughters grandparents are higher than they should be with regard to payee income and payer income. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Could you please clarify.

As far as I am aware CS payable, at least for the liable parent, wouldn't change solely due to care changing to a non-parent carer. This is assuming that the level of care that the liable parent has stays the same. However, the recipient could then become a liable parent as well.

Briefly/simplisticly, CS is determined by adding the adjusted taxable income of both parents after subtracting the self-support amount. This is the combined child support income (CCSI). The CCSI is then used to work out the cost of the child/children via the cost of children tables.  The cost of the children is then apportioned according to a percentage. That percentage is the parent's percentage of the CCSI less a care reduction percentage. The care reduction percentage is 0% if the level of care is below 14%, 24% for 14-34%, 25% + 2% for every 1% over 35% until 47%, for 48%-52% it is 50%, for 53-65% it is  51% + 2% for every 1% over 53%, 76% for 66%-86% and 100% for 87%-100%. If a non-parent carer is involved (has to have at least 35% care) then their income isn't factored in so the cost of the children remains the same. Note that if the income of a parent is lower than the self support amount then the minimum or fixed rate may apply.

In theory each parent will then pay the non-parent carer.

Note that if the income of a parent is lower than the self support amount then the minimum or fixed rate may apply. Also note that the above is not a fully comprehensive description.

It could be that the CS has increased due to the change introducing changed amounts due to a new child support period commencing and thus possibly using the latest amounts according to the current rather than previous year. Furthermore, if this happened on or after the 1st of July and prior to tax returns having been submitted/obtained from the ATO, then such an income could also be increased which should subsequently be adjusted when the actual taxable income for the latest tax years is obtained.

As an example (based upon using the advanced child support calculator that is available on this site from the home page, not that the underlying amounts/values can be reviewed/inspected if you click the "show calculations" check box.). The example assumes that there is 1 under 13 year old child and both parents have an adjusted taxable income of $50,000. The level of care before the non-parent carer was involved was 25 (93 nights)/75 and the year was 2012 and didn't change. The non-parent carer then had 50% and the parent with 75% care had this reduced to 25%.

For the pre-non parent carer scenario the annual rate payable by the parent with 25% care was/is $2382 (the underlying cost of the child(ren) is $9162).
For when the non-parent carer is involved then both parents CS is $2382 (the underlying cost of the child(ren) is $9162 and is the same as both parent's incomes are unchanged).

I hope this all makes sense.
the mother's taxable is'nt factored in. Instead it is just applied as being the same as mine although she draws a minimal wage if not welfare. I was told that this happened because there is a third party, (grandparents being legal custodians).
Smile guitar said
the mother's taxable is'nt factored in. Instead it is just applied as being the same as mine although she draws a minimal wage if not welfare.

That's what they class as a formula 5 calculation for using the income of only one parent. This should only be applied if the other parent is not a resident of Australia or that special circumstances exist. To quote the 2.4.10: Assessments using the income of only one parent (Formulas 5 and 6) in regard to special circumstances it says:

The CSA Guide - 2.4.10: Assessments using the income of only one parent (Formulas 5 and 6) said
A non-parent carer has applied for child support to be assessed and states that special circumstances exist that make it inappropriate for a parent to be assessed for child support. In making a decision on the application CSA considers the facts to determine if special circumstances do exist. If CSA does accept the application then formula 5 is used to calculate the liability of the parent.

Special circumstances as per The CSA Guide - 2.1.1: Applications for assessment are:

The CSA Guide - 2.1.1: Applications for assessment said
Special circumstances

A non-parent carer may make an application that only one parent be assessed for the costs of the child because of the special circumstances of the case. What the Registrar considers to be special circumstances will depend on the particular circumstances of the non-parent carers case. It is expected that both parents will be assessed for child support whenever possible. The applicant must show that the particular circumstances regarding the child are sufficiently special that only one parent should be assessed. Special circumstances may include:

    fear of violence;
    harmful or disruptive effect;
    the identity of the parent is unknown to both the Registrar and the non-parent carer;
    no evidence for the Registrar to be satisfied that a person is a parent;
    where a child has only one legal parent as a result of adoption or the provisions relating to artificial conception procedures and surrogacy under sections 60H and 60HB of the Family Law Act (see Chapter 2.1.3 for more information);
    cultural considerations;
    non parent carers case commenced before 1 July 2008;
    non parent carer and one parent are overseas and non parent carer wishes to apply only against the parent in Australia; and
    other special circumstances.

The department may seek evidence of the special circumstances.

Smile guitar said
I was told that this happened because there is a third party, (grandparents being legal custodians)
As said above, formula 5 can only be applied in the "one-parent only" scenarios as described above, just because a grand parent is a legal custodian it does not/should automatically result in the "one-parent only" section 39/forumla 5 being applied. If none of the reasons for the "one-parent only" exist then you should object to the decision being based upon section 25A(b) (the reasons) and that instead of section 39 (formula 5) being applied that the appropriate section be applied as per section 36-38 (formula 2, 3 or 4).

Note sections are sections of the Child Support Assessment Ac1t 1989.
In 2001 my husband claimed child support from the Mother and Father of the half sister to his own daughter, he has shared care of this child 182 nights per year.

He was required to claim support from both of the childs parents. On the assessment that was issued for the mother she was assessed to pay $0. infact he didnt recive any payments from any of the parents. At the time of the assessment were issued he contacted CSA to ask why this was, he was told that he did not have enough care of the child to be paid support, he was unemployed at the time and was claiming newstart allowance, Centerlink staff helped him to claim family tax benefit and he was granted family tax benefit from the 1st of march 2001, the Mother recived a debt for the family tax benefit dating back to when the court order for care by consent had been registered with the family court, Information was passed on to the CSA but still no payments where made. In June of 2003 he filled in a change of care form for family tax benefit as the child had moved to his care 100% in march of 2002 this was a claim form for familytax benefit. Centerlink informed him that he could claim the single parent pension instead of newstart allowance, He did not claim single parenting payment as in july of that year he gained employment. In september 2003 the child was going to be turning 16 so another form was filled in to comfirm that the child would be continuing education. He still recived no payments for the child. The child returned to the care of her Mother on the 23rd of December and all contact was terminated.

All contact with his own children was also stopped by the mother and for personal reasons he has had not had contact with them since 2003.

Because the Mother had care of all the children his own child support was based on her having 100% care and all family tax benefits were stopped from the 24th of December2003 The Mother had sent CSA and the Family assistance office a copy of the recovery order issued on the 24th of December 2003 suspending all care and contact of the children.

In 2011 he had a child support debt, he had not done any tax returns from 2005, In october of 2011 he entered into a payment plan to repay the debt.

As he had no copys of any of the assessment, he requested all of his child support assessment ever issued which he did recieve, he also in December of 2011 did his overdue tax returns.

The assessments for His claim for child support were also included.

On this assessment they had used his income for the assessment, instead of assessing the Mothers own income alone they had treated the assessment as if he was the Father of the child, the Names of both his own Daughter and the Half sister where listed as shared care.

In a conversation i had with his case Manager a few weeks ago, I brought this assesment up, and i asked the CSA to send a copy of the 2002- 2003 assessments, last week he recived the assessments, and they now reflect the correct care for the periods June 2002- December 2003.

The Father of the child was assessed to pay from the 1st of March 2001 to when the assessments ended on the 24th December.

The Mother was Assessed to pay the minium amount for the period 1st June 2002- to the 24th of December.

Combined they where assessedto pay him for over $3,500 for this Period. so in affect they have a debt to him.

The exempt amount on his own childrens child support has also been changed ( this was in the days before the changes in 2008 ) and he was assessed to pay 24% off is income after excempt amount was taken off.

Just hope thet make a better Job of sorting this out better than thet did the first time around.
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